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The Best Damn Week In Review Anywhere
December 17, 2018

Last Week
Dow Jones: 24,101 (-1.18%)
S&P 500: 2,600 (-1.25%)
Nasdaq: 6,911 (-0.83%)
Bitcoin: $3,196 (-10.28%)
10-Year Treasury: 2.895%

The Rubick's Cube was invented. Star Wars happened. And Millennials weren't even a thing yet.

1980 was rough. And it's the last time markets started December this badly. Last week's stock dip didn't help.

1. Stock market winners...

Eyes are the keys. Literally... Hertz just partnered with airport access startup Clear -- a biometric kiosk will scan your retinas to check you in for that vacay car rental, faster than Hertz humans. That'll speed up the disappointment of hearing the red Jeep Wrangler you reserved is actually a white Kia Soul.

Nutella's taking over the world... And we're OK with that. The spread's Italian owner, Ferrero, is close to buying Campbell Soup's struggling international biz. Perfectly, that includes its biscuits. Campbell bubbled up because it needs to sell off some of its brands since its core soup sales are aggressively falling.

Bralettes FTW... Abercrombie's getting shown up by its younger, cooler cousin -- American Eagle's quarterly sales rose another 5% to hit $1B because it's completely ditched dog-sized logos for more subtle denim, shirts, and leisure-wear that are now internship-appropriate.

Left the hoodie at home... Investors were down with Google CEO Sundar Pichai's testimony to Congress. When he wasn't explaining that he doesn't make iPhones, his updates were clear: The search algorithms aren't biased against conservatives, there are "no plans" to relaunch in China, and he's down with data protection laws.
 

2. ...And stock market losers

Air hockey never gets old... A bar dependent on it does. The arcade/restaurant Dave & Buster's watched sales dip. Again. Its business model's based on combining pinball and fries at the mall Friday night. But Americans are ditching malls.

Fix the 'Stitch... Stitch Fix stock fell 26% in 1 day even though it's shipping The North Face, Bonobos, and Michael Kors in its monthly fashion boxes. Turns out the # of active  subscribers didn't hit the 3M investors hooped for, even as the Stitch spreads robot-curated clothing boxes to the UK.

Always blame bananas... Shares of Costco dropped 9% Friday because the big box has a food problem. There's all that fresh competition in grocery delivery from Walmart and Amazon's Whole Foods. That means less people stocking up on its industrial-sized granola portions that last six moon phases.

Save the peanuts... Technically, Delta fell because it thinks a "slight deceleration" of the global economy next year will slow ticket sales. But all we care about is the brutal new quasi-economy sections it's added. And we're not feeling the shade it tossed on puppies, emotional support kittens, and ostriches (FYI, they're banned).
 

3. Food Delivery ordered itself all week long

It's not DiGiorno... It's delivery. And everyone's doing it because corporate peer pressure works. Here's who whipped out fresh and updated delivery options on the same day:

  1. Starbucks: It'll partner up with Uber Eats to get latte delivery to 2K stores (a quarter of its total) next year, even though there's a Starbucks on every corner's corner already
  2. Postmates: Because humans are apparently overrated, city deliverer Postmates unveiled a robot: Serve is a questionably adorable 3-feet tall, it carries 50-pounds of food, and it will hit LA sidewalks ASAP in 2019
  3. Instacart: Amazon's got delivery covered, so Instacart's ending its long-term relationship with Whole Foods (we all saw it coming) 


Gig hustles hurt... Connecting people-with-no-time with people-with-lotsa-time is a fancy algorithmic efficiency and the core function of food delivery apps. The other core function is using non-unionized delivery people. But now that Postmates' 350K deliverers face a robot replacement, they could demand worker rights like you demand late night falafel.

The Takeaway: China's tastefully leading delivery innovation... Starbucks has been testing delivery service in China for over 3 months -- and it's getting beaten there by Luckin, a coffee chain so focused on delivery, that half its locations only deliver. No 40 hours of free wifi weekly for aspiring screenplay writers. Just delivery.
 

4. Why US stocks are down 10%: International Drama

A long, long year ago... the world's economy was Who-ville happy. Now US stocks are nervously reaching for Emergen-C and cancelling on early morning spin classes. The Dow (-10%), S&P 500 (-11%), and Nasdaq (-15%) have all “corrected” down since recent record highs.
 
US companies make big bank abroad… And abroad’s been as fun as replacing a Christmas tree light bulb (just get another box). Here are the culprits:

  • 🇨🇳 China's latest economic progress report was less fun: Growth in car and machinery sales were way down
  • 🇬🇧 Britain's pound fell last week to the lowest level in 2 years as a bad breakup with the EU looks likely in March
  • 🇫🇷 France cancelled plans to increase taxes because of freakishly apocalyptic looking protests
  • 🇩🇪 Germany and  🇯🇵 Japan both suffered economic shrinkage last quarter since they’re hugely reliant on exports (and there's a global trade war)

 
The Takeaway: China showed signs it wants to make up... It ordered its first US soybeans since July (like grabbing a coffee together), reduced its tariffs on US-made cars (like double tapping Instagram pics again), and may revise its "Made in China 2025" plan (like couples' therapy). Those baby steps could lead to trade war peace.
 


What else we're 'Snacking

  • Chart Porn: 2018’s tech trends in 14 charts
  • Career: It's "Annual Review" Season -- Do all these things
  • Life: 25 worst passwords of 2018
  • Money: What to do first with your holiday bonus
  • Venture: WeWork (finally) launches its own startup incubator
  • Crypto: 5 reasons cryptocurrency prices keep falling. A lot.


Hustles we like

Jobs:

Internships:


On Today's MarketSnacks Daily Podcast

  • The team behind Pokemon GO shoots for $4B valuation on Augmented Reality agenda
  • Luxury brand LVMH treats itself to a luxury hotel chain for $3.2B
  • Johnson & Johnson's no good, really bad, 14% down day
 
Just Push Play:


'SnackFact of the Day
Don't toss receipts: $13B is spent on unwanted gifts in the US

Submitted by Kadeem L. (New York, NY)
Send Us One


This Week

  • Monday: Earnings from Oracle
  • Tuesday: Earnings from Olive Garden, FedEx
  • Wednesday: The Fed's interest rate announcement
  • Thursday: Earnings from Carnival Cruises, Nike
  • Friday: Candy Club's IPO, the deadline for a funding deal to avoid partial US government shutdown

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